Villa 191 is a private single family residence designed by ISV Architects, located in Voula, Athens, Greece up on the hill, in a site with extremely steep terrain. The access from the street is at the site’s highest point, which provides with a limitless view to the sea. The pitch of the site, as well as the view, have both been the main factors to determine the design choices made. Because of its steepness/gradient, the house is barely visible from the street.
The access point is at the third and highest level of the building, from where the user descends to the middle level with all the living spaces. The linear organization of the plan, with the rooms laid out successively and perpendicularly to the court, has allowed for unobstructed views from all spaces.
At the highest level, except from the main entrance, one finds the bedrooms of the family which all have access to roof terrace. The middle level includes the dining room, the living room and the kitchen. They linearly spread out either into the great balcony to the front or to an outdoor space with the element of water at the side. At the lower level the guest rooms and play rooms can also function as a separate apartment with the panoramic view always remaining unobstructed.
The exterior of the building express the linearity of the functional organization and the view-oriented design of the spaces. Therefore, the shape is characterized by a fold with horizontal elements which start from the pool at the living room level and unravel until they meet the bedrooms floor, at the top. The prominent volumes allow for the house and the steep terrain to blend in harmony.
The materials chosen enhance the noble appearance of these volumes. The retaining walls are made of exposed concrete and they juxtapose other building elements which are white plaster finish. Inside, wood is used as the main floor surface and white finish on all walls.
Photos: Anargyros Mougiakos, Giannis Kontos
Eagle’s Nest is a striking Mediterranean summer house that was completed in 2010, designed by Sinas Architects, situated on Serifos Island, Greece. Serifos perhaps, is one of the last Cycladic islands that has only recently started to develop. Some call it “wild and inhospitable.” For the few faithful who visit it consistently, this “roughness” is the key element that made them fall in love with it.
On the south side of Serifos, near the lovely beach of Kalo Ampeli is an area known as “Chomatovouni”. Here steep slopes, cliffs and rock formations dominate the scenery. Within this seemingly inhospitable landscape only the eagle could build its nest.
The house has a total size of 2,152 square feet (200 square meters) and is spread over three levels. The main house, with three dormitories, is located at the lower level. The house is accessed through the backside, through a staircase that seems to cut through the building, to lead visitors to the main terrace, a balcony with unobstructed views of the sea, the bay of Kalo Ampeli and the picturesque island Garbis. Another terrace has been created that adjoins with the kitchen on the west side of the building.
The main guest house has been placed on the top of the main house. It includes its own bathroom, kitchen and fireplace. This way the guest has complete privacy and access to the view.
Finally, a small cell like building, the “keli”, also a guesthouse, is positioned completely independently at the highest level of the complex.
The peculiar shape of the house serves two needs: on the one hand it creates multiple terraces protected from the sun and the winds of the Aegean and the on the other it breaks the volume of the building into individual smaller and irregular ones. The basic building material is stone that came entirely from the excavations. Stone in combination with the color of mortar achieves a color corresponding to the landscape. Thus the building is fully and naturally integrated in its surroundings.
Outside, the house combines all the structural elements of the island such as stone, ground, the reeds, wood with its natural colors, creating a traditional atmosphere. Internally cool white was selected as the dominant color and a modern aesthetic. The floors, all of which are smooth industrial, invite you to walk barefoot and forget the need for shoes.
One week of isolation in this house will certainly function as the lotus to the crew of Ulysses and make you forget all your ties with the city and need to return to civilization!
Photos: Nikos Stefanis
H3 House was designed by 314 Architecture Studio to give a sense of connection to the water element that surrounds it, inspired by the love of the owner for yachting, situated in Athens, Greece. The detached property covers a total area of 1,000 square meters, set in a plot of land 7,000 square meters. The relationship to water is in evidence with artificial pools around the exterior of the house, creating a sense of cool tranquility. The water for the smaller artificial pools and the main large swimming pool is supplied by a borehole, and the water supply for irrigating the garden areas comes from a rainwater drainage and collection system. The bio-climatic design of the house allows the sun to supply heat to the property in winter, and to mitigate its impact in summer when hot air is vented to the outside. The use of geothermal energy provides energy saving cooling and heating systems via fan coil systems. The solar spiral system installed in roof areas operates in combination with solar panels installed to the rear side of the plot, and are used to heat the pool water. Photovoltaic panels for electricity generation are installed at the same point.
The house uses eco-friendly materials, and the interior, including all the furniture, was designed to meet the owner’s specific requirements. The design aims to create a luxury ergonomic environment with clean lines and a minimalistic aesthetic. An abstract sculpture by Yiannis Aspra in the surrounding grounds of the house is a striking feature. The architecture, building materials, as well as the energy management and conservation technologies conform to the highly dynamic requirements of a modern residential home, but at the same time are environmentally friendly.
Photos: Courtesy of 314 Architecture Studio
Kalavrita Project was designed by Bllend Design Office in Peloponnisos Dytiki Ellada ke Ionio, Greece. The home overlooks a beautiful mountain range, spread out over three levels with each section being about 50 square meters. The lower and middle shell comprised of local stone, while the top floor is a log cabin. The customer defined the desired outcome as keeping the mountain context, without emitting stereotypical rustic remembrances of existing mountain residential typologies. It involved a major renovation, of a common mountain house. The aim was to create a space where everything would be manufactured on site, using basic materials metal, pine wood and mineral aggregates, human labor and expertise.
The main idea behind that was to let the objects acquire use and sentimental value when the owners would start feeling them as useful and pleasant. The three levels of the home encompass en-suite bedrooms, guest rooms, bathrooms and autonomy in daytime activities. The desire was clear to accommodate the family’s extroversial way of living allowing for co-habitation and mobility for daytime and nighttime zones. The need was to allow for guest families and their children to make creative use of space different hours of day and seasons.
Emitting the architectural feeling of black burnt metal and volcanic stone, construction and levels of nightime and basic traffic patterns were defined by black metal. Mineral aggregates defined the floorplans, wet areas and main elevations while pine wood defined the storage areas. The color palette was reduced to minimum contrast and low saturation in order to let the materials and textures define the context of the project redefining prevailing mountain houses of rustic country feeling.
The challenge of the project was to follow sustainability and bioclimatic values in house remodeling, to utilize maximum natural daylight, create a design lighting scheme using only led lighting sources and emitting the feeling of light candelas using very low light color temperatures. This had a serious impact since the customer desired to leave the existing shell and openings intact.
Stone House in Anavissos was designed by Whitebox Architects in Athens, Greece. The plot for the home is located in Lakka, looking over the gulf of Anavissos. The concept was the creation of a residence for a family of four – the parents with two children – and the possibility of having a guest room with relative autonomy -separate bathroom. The basic demands were: the view of the sea from all four bedrooms, an office space on the ground floor for the professional needs of the couple but mostly of the mother who wanted to work and supervise the ground floor where the children would play. Another request for the design was the economy in energy consumption of the house and the possibility of enjoying the outdoor spaces throughout the year, for dining, swimming, games.
Undergrowth, rocky terrain with a gentle slope to the bay located southeast of the plot and strong northerly and easterly winds –local thermal effects, are the main features of the inhospitable natural environment.
The building is L-shaped thus protects the space of the main courtyard from the strong local winds while connecting the indoors spaces to the external functions of the residence. The ground floor is divided into two levels following the smooth slope to the sea. On the northwest side, while the indoor facilities are disrupted, the structural elements of the building are released from the main volume and continue their way until they form a protected from the north wind -with stone walls-, and the sun- with fixed wooden blinds – space.
This area is the “secret” access of the family directly to the kitchen, the summer dining and rest area with shade and coolness. The secret garden of the children with a sculpture hidden behind the stone columns that barely leave the sunrays penetrate and reveal their secret. Pergolas on the south side of the house protect the inner space from the direct sunlight through the corner windows that are facingthe sea.Inside the building there is an atrium with a mobile roof that slopes to the North to allow the northern light to enter and contributes to the hot air relief during the summer. It also contributes to the visual and audio communication of the residents on both floors.
The semi-open space between the two children’s bedrooms that is in contact with the atriumgives children the opportunity to see inside the house from above while they are on their verandah. The northern side of the building creates a front to the north as there are only a few small openings, except one above the main entrance that even allows the view through the house to the buildings that lie behind. The wooden “sachnisi”is a historical reference to the greek refugees who migrated to the area from Asia Minor in 1922 and worked in the local salt marshes.
The exterior walls of the building are made of 70cm bearing stone masonry, visible on the ground floor and plastered with colored plaster on the 1rst floor. The concrete used for slabs and columns remained visible inside and out. Great attention was given to the connection of the rough materials like stoneand concrete with the other materials, wood, metal, glass, painted plaster.
Photos: George Fakaros
The Residence in Kifissia is designed by Tense Architecture Network, situated in Kifissia, Greece. The residence’s plot is small and an adjacent building almost blocks the southern sun. The main part of the field should remain free and become the residence itself: an austere prism, centrally supported, hovers above the liberated ground. At first, an area was defined: a cubic shell of plants creates a limit for the house. In order to reside, ones withdraws in. Three metallic columns support a net of inox ropes where plants have already started to climb in order to generate a volume equally important to the house’s prisms.
When the plants are grown the green screen will be penetrated only by the black central column of the concrete shelter. The basalt-watery surface on which it is based reflects the light in the interior. Exposed concrete is dark tinted where a greater depth, a sense of anchoring was necessary. Artificial light is cautiously managed in order to protect the night and the intimacy that dim light offers.
The shell remains intact towards the main facade. The public image of the residence will eventually recede behind the plants and the house will claim the whole field. The vigorously detached prism lets the sun enter and functions as a shelter: living space lies beneath. When the sliding panels retreat, the merging with the garden is complete.
The space that the elevated prism creates is the main compositional gesture. The manner that this gesture is performed is crucial: it is the manner through which the hovering prism is supported by the central column. A calm tension is realized, a simple yet clear correlation of forces. The synergy between structural and architectural design gives a residence where the shell is not more important than its field. Those are juxtaposed: one to one.
Photos: Filippo Poli
The contemporary Residence in Kifisia has been designed for a family of four by N. Koukourakis & Associates in the suburb of Kifisia, in Athens, Greece. The home is comprised of 3,767 square feet (350 square meters) of living space, constructed on a small, almost level square plot. The concept of the designed was focused on establishing additional open air spaces to create a pleasant habitat on the small plot. The small stone mass in the entryway separates the public spaces from the private spaces to ensure privacy.
The open ground floor plan encompasses the foyer, sitting room, rest room, dining room and kitchen, which through large interior and exterior openings utilize all natural light to the largest extent, while at the same time they appear to complement the outdoor / open spaces since they are directly connected. The double height opening in the living room visually connects the ‘public’ and ‘private’ spaces of the residence. On the first floor, the living room, office and children’s bedrooms all have balconies without railings and transparent glass for maximization of the view. On the second floor the master bedroom has infinite views and a vast veranda. The basement comprises of additional secondary ‘functional rooms’ as well as the guest room.
The materials used for the exterior facade constitute the components used in the internal spaces. Coffee-grey coating and wood in a monochromatic dialogue define the overall structure of this building. The use of wood in the external spaces, the ground floor and the balconies doubles and visually connects the spaces of the residence.
The furniture follows the simple and minimal theme of the building’s spaces, enhancing the clean design lines and light colors of the structure as well as the primary function of light and the comfort of the spaces.
The shell of the house is constructed using a facade insulation system; the aluminum casings have thermal-break system and high spec double energy glass panels. Heating is provided through the floor while there is also a central air conditioning system. It is constructed in accordance with the specifications of a smart home where all operations including lighting, the movement of shutters, the alarm system, video surveillance cameras, multi-room sound system and air conditioning are all controlled by a centralized system.
Sunny Side Villa is a brand new luxury vacation dwelling situated on a sandy beach with a swimming pool literally on the sand of Chrisi Akti in Paros, Greece designed by Studio 265 Architecture + Building. This 3,875 square foot (360 square meters) property has been built as a long flat unit and it has a guest house almost attached to it. All bedrooms have sea views and direct access to the pool area and all the comforts of a luxury construction. There is a main house with three bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, large living and dining area and a kitchen. An independent guesthouse has a bedroom with en-suite bathroom and a day bed, dressing room and small kitchenette as well as staff quarters. The land is comprised of 11,000 square meters and is planted with olive trees, fig and pomegranate trees and a vineyard. There is a small vegetable and aromatic plants garden. This unique beach house is ideal for families or a group of couples!
Photos: Courtesy of Studio 265 Architecture + Building
This sensational summer house is situated in the eastern part of the island of Paros Cyclades in Greece. Designed by inteiror designer Alexandros Logodotis, the home has been declared a nature of traditional Cycladic architecture with a minimal modern presentation, which fits the personality of the owners. Daylight reveals the plasticity of white colors as watercolors which have spread in selected areas, while at night the lights in headlights and other details throughout the building becomes a supernatural setting, hovering over the pool. The orientation is east and spaces organized in turn by the sun to “live” the best of their era: the outdoor kitchen has shade in the afternoon to be able to enjoy a meal in peace.
The building appears as a volume configured by touch, without straight and tight corners – as if it was slowly carved over time, with the wind and rain. The smooth curves and holes, the white Cycladic which eliminates the strong light and color harmonies, is what characterizes the area “breathe” the breeze coming through the openings. The center of gravity of the house seems to be the staircase, which stands like a sculpture. Patiti, gray concrete alternating with sand-colored marble tiling and signage in the area around the pool, covers the floors. The minimal house design is ideal for anyone who wants simplicity; the atmosphere is something ethereal mixed with the water elements. Designed installations include built-in shelves in the living room, an abstract dining room buffet and built beds.
Photos: Ioanna Nikolareizi
Greek architect Minas Kosmidis redesigned this postwar two story detached house featuring a stunning Acropolis view, located in the area of Thisio in Athens, Greece. Besides the restoration work which had to be done for the 1,076 square foot (100 square meters) home, the configuration of the spatial organization was another significant part of the re-design.
Here is a description of the project from the architects. “The indoor organization of the detached houses of ‘50s was almost standard. On the ground floor, one could find the daytime functions: the sitting room, the living-room, the kitchen, perhaps a small water closet; on the other floor, the nightly functions: the 3 bedrooms, the bathroom, the store room-laundry and the back balcony which had access to the camber through metal stairs.
All the rooms looked over the street, as usual, because life in the neighborhood was intrinsic to it. The building was to be bought by the new owners because it had an important advantage (besides its location) the back of the second floor had a view of the Acropolis.
The aim of the study of the house was the exploitation of that view and how it would be able to become the most important element in the final spatial configuration in order to serve the owners both interns of their needs and in terms of aesthetics. Of course, the purchase would depend on this solution.
All this was achieved, to a maximum, through this study and its application afterwards, which literally brought things upside down. So on the ground floor, besides the entrance was/we created the bedroom with the owners’ private bathroom, a small living-room which is transformed into a guest-house after changing the movable elements, which separate it from the bedroom, a small water closet for the guests and a storeroom.
As the ground-floor gets light only through the two windows that overlook the street, walls and doors have been removed and replaced with big movable panels made of wooden surfaces with either walnut finishing or that of the walls.
The wants and the aesthetics of the owners as well as the architects were concurrent. A monochromatic was created, in the shades of the earth shell, natural materials were used, non-sterile, where furniture, items, memories can coexist harmoniously, without affectation.
The beige is the main color of the coated surfaces of the walls and of the floors, of the marble floors, of the hollows and of the most cloths, in a coexistence with the wood of the walnut and the black of the metal constructions, of the switches, of some items which stand for other seasons.
You are in a constant conversation with the lively frame of Acropolis and bring you into a pleasant nostalgic attitude, somewhere else. The metal elements, which were used for the restoration, remained visible, as well as the building elements of the old construction.
The old outwards hollows remained and maintained and at the frontage the railing and the gutters were redesigned. The colors that were used for the internal were also used for the external.
The lighting was studied for showing the building both inside and outside but with respect to the region of Thisio, the monument of Acropolis, the atmosphere that is brought by the building.
The big glass wall was built so that it could become a large frame with a view to the Acropolis. From the veranda, a steel stair leads to the terrace; from there somebody has the superlative view to the Attica sky, to Acropolis, to the “observatory”, to Athens.
Opposite the entrance, a staircase with steps made of solid walnut “planted” on the wall leads to the floor where a single space has been created, which includes a living-room, a dining-room, a kitchen with a straight continuation towards the veranda.
Photos: Ioanna Roufopoulou